1 March 2016 – Defense ministers from the US-led coalition against the Islamic State discussed the possibility of ground operations two weeks ago in Brussels but have not made a decision, according to an aide to Saudi Arabia’s Defense Minister.Brigadier General Ahmed Asseri told Reuters, “It was discussed at the political level but it wasn’t discussed as a military mission.” He added the Saudi position:

Once this is organized, and decided how many troops and how they will go and where they will go, we will participate in that.We need to discuss at the military level very extensively with the military experts to make sure that we have a plan. Asseri said the Kingdom is ready to strike the Islamic State from the Incirlik air base in southern Turkey, where four Saudi fighter jets arrived last week.US State Department spokesman John Kirby said that the Saudis have talked about “the potential of an introduction of some sort of ground force element in Syria” and that the US would welcome the contribution.

However, he said, “There’s a lot that needs to be discussed in terms of what they would do, what their makeup would be, how they would need to be supported by the coalition going forward. So there’s a lot of homework that needs to be done.”